We live in the world which is not illusory. In other words world exists as a reality this is a fact. According to Jain faith the world is composed of six elements. They are (1) Jiva, (2) Dharma, (3) Adharma, (4) Akasa, (5) Kala, (6) Pudgala.
In the conception of Universe, all the philosophical problems are centered. No school of thought denies the existence of the Universe. Each tries to prove it by its own way. Question has been asked by Goutam in connection with the conception of the Universe in the Bhagabati-Sutra to Lord Mahavira. In his reply Mahavira told that there are five extensive substances by which this world is composed. They are as folloes (1) Medium of motion, (2) Medium of test, (3) Space, (4) Soul, (5) Matter. These are called Panchastikayas or the five astikayas technically as these are primary constituent elements of the cosmos. Asti implies existence and kaya denotes volume. Astikaya therefore means a category which is capable of having spatial relations.
Kala is not regarded as a separate substance in the above conversation. But it is included in both the conscious and non-conscious substances. In the early days of Mahavira there were two schools of thought in Jainism. One was an exponent of the five extensive substances and the other believed the Universe is composed of six elements.
The latter school of thought took time as a separate and independent entity to the five extensive existences without regarding it as a extensive reality. In the Jain canons this is the rough estimate of the conception of Universe. It conceived time as non extended.
Jiva is the animate substance having consciousness. It is distinguished from the other five components which are called Ajivas or non-living substances. Soul or Jiva is characterized by knowledge and perception. From the empirical point of view the Jiva is enjoier and Ajiva is enjoyed.
In his famous book “Indian Philosophy” Dr. Radhakrishnan writes that which has no conscious but can be touched, tasted, seen and smelt is ajiba. This statement seems to be invalid in Jainism. Consciousness and unconsciousness are the real criteria of Jiva and Ajiva respectively. That which can be touched, tasted, seen and smelt is not meant as ajiva by the Jains. These four characteristics belong to Pudgala only. It is a matter which can be touched, tasted, seen and smelt because it has got a gross form. Hence Ajiva is not only a matter but something more than that.
Dharma is medium of motion. Adharma is medium of rest which falls in the category of ajiva along with the time and space. In other words Dharmastikaya, Adharmastikaya, akasastikaya and addha samaya which are formless also belong to the category of ajiva along with Pudgala- astikaya which has got a form. Hence the four characteristics of form can be ascribed to pudgala only and not to the ajiva as a whole. In other words pudgala is a part of ajiva only. So it is needless to say that the characteristics of a part anmot be attributed to the whole.
Matter or pudgala is ajiva, of course, but it does not mean that ajiva is matter only. Hence ajiva is something more than the pudgala or matter.
Hence the definition of ajiva given by Dr. Radhakrishnan is not correct from the jain poin of view Unconsciousness is correct and complete criterion of ajiva. Hence from the dualistic point of view the conscious substance is jiva while the unconscious substance is ajiva.
That which helps in the movement of jiva and pudgala, and unconscious matter is called Dharma. It does not move itself but it helps the movement of moving objects much like the railway lines which give inactive assistance to the movement of Locomative engines. That which helps the stoppage of objects which are to come to a standstill is known as adharma. This is quite opposite to Dharma. It is an indirect cause of rest. Container of substances, in Jainism, is called akasha. Room and space is allowed by Akasha only.
The substance which is the cause of change in things and create the past, the present, the future is known as Kala in modern science pudgala is a substance which is called matter. To all sense organs it is perceptible because it possesses sound, colour, taste, smell and touch s distinguished from the other inanimate substances which are not at all perceptible to the senses.
In accordance with the pluralistic conception of Jains there are six substances which are as follows.
1. Jivastikaya – This is extensive, conscious, immaterial substance.
2. Pudgalastikaya – Extensive, unconscious, material substance.
3. Dharmastikaya – Extensive, unconscious, immaterial substance in the form of medium of motion.
4. Adharmastikaya – Extensive, unconscious, immaterial substance in the form of medium of rest.
5. Akasastikaya – Extensive, unconscious, immertial substance in the form of space.
6. Samaya (Kala)- non extensive, unconscious, immaterial substance.
Modern science propounds the theory that the weight of matter remains the same as it ever was in its various forms and recognize matter as indestructible. This is known as the theory of constant weight. From the ancient times this theory of indestructibility has been preached by the Jain thinkers not only in respect of perceptible matter but also in respect of conscious jiva and the other form of immaterial substance.
Out of the elemental substances mentioned already, Dharma, adhrama, akasa are each of them one in number whereas kala, pudgala and jiva are infinite in number.
The infinite number of jivas may be classified under the following four categories found in this material world.
1) Hellish being, 2) Celestial or Divine beings 3) Human beings 4) Sub-human beings.
Beats, birds and all other beings inferior to man and possessing from one to fiveorgans of senses do come under sub-human beings. According to the actions they undergo ever recurringbirths in human or non-human existence in this Universe.
The jivas found in above four states of existences are impure because they are tinged with pudgala. They differ from the jivas in their pure and unadulterous state in as much as their qualities of knowledge, perception, power, happiness. So long as soul remains combined with the pudgala it can not realize its own subline nature that consists of four infinities as follows:
1) Infinite perception, 2) Infinite Knowledge, 3) Infinite Power, 4) Infinite happiness
On account of their conjuction with pudgala the jibas roam about in this world. The material particles gather nd accumulate in the soul prades as through certain inlets called asrabs as the water gathers in a pond through its inlets.
For the flow of material particles in the soul the following are the main inlets.
1) Mithyatwa or non belief or perverted belief in the realities.
Jainism enjoins on everyone strict faith in the following principles.
a) That there are jibas having consciousness.
b) That there are ajibas or lifeless objects.
c) That the ajiba combines with the pudgal and roams about so long as it is in the state of bondage.
d) That due to certain causes, there is bondage between jiba and ajiba.
e) That in a happy or in a painful earthly state the bondage results.
f) That this bondage is temporary and does not change the nature of the soul in its essence.
g) For the fresh incoming of pudgala, that there is a way for stoppage.
h) That the existing bondage may be severed
i) That the soul may assume its pure natural state after liberation from the material and attain salvation
They are called the nine principles by the jain thinkers.
To be more precise, these nine principles are as follows:-
Jiva (soul), Ajiba (non-soul), Punya (Auspicious karmas), Papa (in-auspicious karmas), Asrab (inflow of karmas), Samvara (Stoppage of karma), Bandha (Bondage of karma), Nirjara (Partial Shaking of the karmas), Mokshya (complete annihilation of karmas).
2) Avirati or vowlessness which implies non-abstinence in respect of sins and pleasure of sense organs.
3) Pramada or Lethargy – the want of zeal for observance of religion.
4) Kasaya or emotion of anger, pride, deceit, greed.
5) Yoja or activities of mind body and speech. The sinful application of these three instruments of action is the fifth asrab or inlet.
In this world Jiba and matter exists side by side. Jiba is surrounded by matter on all sides. Under the influence of above asrabas the jiba draws in the particles of the neighbouring matter from all directions which move in through the medium of Dharma and retain the same in the space of it pradesas by the help of adharma.
The particles of matter which enter the soul and get intermingled with it are called karma in the jain terminology.
The karmas are as follows:-
1) Jnanavaraniya karma which obstructs the knowledge of the soul
2) Darshanavaraniya karma which obstruct the right faith.
3) Vedaniya karma which causes sensation.
4) Mohaniya karma which causes infatuation and effects right belief and right conduct.
5) Nama karma which determines the personality of a being.
6) Gotra karma which determines the gotra.
7) Ayu karma which determines the duration of life.
8) Antaraya karma which hinders charity, prosperity, pleasure of the soul.
So long as the karmas are got rid of the soul cannot be freed from worldly miseries. The soul come realize its own nature and obtain bliss only after the annihilation of karmas.
The inflow of karmas has got to be stopped. Then the existing karmas have got to be destroyed. The first process is technically called Samavaras and the second process is called nirjara.
The prevention of asrab by Samvara is the first step towards the liberation of soul. Samvara is the first half of the process and the second half is the Nirjara.
This being free of karmas, the soul become lighter and ascends up and goes to the abode of the Siddhas of liberated souls called Siddha Sila which is at the top of the spheres and resides there in excellent bliss. It cannot go up beyond that as dharma is not found thence-forward.
This deliverance of soul is called Moksha or Salvation.